This year I will be participating in my 4th Overnight Walk for Suicide Prevention with the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. These last 4 years have been have made such an impact in my life in so many ways.
I am so thankful for the friendships that have been fostered as a result of this event. I have been able to bear witness to telling of so many stories, so many different connections to the cause. We are bonded by the fact that we want a different future, a better future, a world without suicide. Together we gather to prevent another hurting person from feeling that they are ever alone in their struggle. From one coast to another, we gather to say we are never giving up on you…so we beg you..never give up on yourself.
This event is so important to me, because I was one of those people who felt alone in their depression, isolated from the world with no way out. I wanted to end my life, just to end the pain. But it was through the power of community, therapy and faith that I was able to see the light in the midst of the darkness. No matter where I am in this journey called life there have been people who are willing to meet me right where I am. That is never more true than at the Overnight.
At my first Overnight, I was beginning recovery, arms filled of scars, physically and emotionally I had only begun healing, but the love I felt that day cannot be put into words.
My second year I was still struggling but looking forward to the event and the people I had connected with beforehand kept me moving toward a goal of sobriety and recovery. As we walked through the night through the streets of Philadelphia, we shared stories of loss but there was an air of hope. I shared my dreams of starting a non profit organization and eventually a counseling center. But I knew those dreams were far off because I had to be healthy first.
Last year in Texas I was able to share my story and do it from a place where I was on the road to recovery. It was the first time where I could really see my life really changing for the better. and It set my dreams in motion.
This year the walk is in New York, which is poignant to me, because it is where my original journey with the Overnight began. I am not the same person I was 6 years ago. I am on my way to finishing my degree in Counseling and will be helping people even more soon.
I look forward to what this particular journey through the night will hold for me and so many others. I invite you to take this journey with me and join my team. Together we can make a diffference.